How they got their start: Jamie Luner

By: Start TV Staff     Posted: November 6, 2018, 12:47PM

Image: The Everett Collection

Jamie Luner started acting at just 16, first appearing on an episode of Growing Pains as one of Mike Seavers' three dates to a dance. Actress Heather Graham was one of the other girls competing for the iconic TV teen's attention.

Warner Bros. Television DistributionGrowing Pains: Jamie Luner is on the far left; Heather Graham on the far right.

The very next year, Luner would become a teen TV star on the hit Growing Pains spin-off Just the 10 of Us. On that show, she played Cindy Lubbock, half of a set of twins and the second oldest of eight siblings. Her character was meant to be a foil for her twin sister Wendy, who was the oldest and therefore, smartest. Thus, Cindy Lubbock was intentionally ditzy, providing the comic relief for the coming-of-age stories that drove the TV series' popularity.

Fans of Jamie Luner know that next she took a dramatic turn. First she was cast to co-star in the series Savannah, playing the daughter of a maid who has an affair she desperately needs to hide. Though that show was short-lived, it led directly to her casting in Melrose Place. For that hit drama, she played Lexi Sterling, an interior decorator whose extremely wealthy father controls every aspect of her life - including who she married. In every role, whether a sitcom or drama, Luner's femininity found its way to the spotlight. That would change once Melrose Place ended in 1999.

On Profiler, there was a huge void to fill in 1999 when Ally Walker left the show. They needed a new profiler, and it needed to be a woman who could step into Sam Waters' considerably huge shoes to become a source of intrigue in her own right. Profiler found its fix in Jamie Luner, cast as Rachel Burke and first appearing in the fourth season premiere episode "Reunion."

Profiler

Our first look at Luner as the new profiler comes during a hostage scene we soon learn is staged. She's the one being held hostage at first, but it's revealed that what we actually are watching is her work as an FBI instructor. She's serious and to-the-point with her students, stone-faced even as she cracks jokes and flips gender stereotypes. It's a different look at Luner, and it's a different vibe for the team on Profiler, who must adjust not only to a new face but an entirely new personality in its star forensic psychologist.

Of course, with a new profiler, there also had to come a new villain, as Sam's Jack of All Trades fades from the show and we meet both a terrifyingly clever stalker who's after Rachel and a haunting urban legend that seems to have come to life. That's a lot to take in for an actress whose teenage days were more about hairspray and high school dates, but we're thrilled Luner made the shift.

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